Jodi Arias Trial Update Today: Jodi Arias Retrial Delayed; Jodi May Need New Defense Team
By Tony Sokol | February 16, 2014 12:54 PM EST
Jodi Arias Trial Update Today: Jodi Arias might have to get new lawyers after motions were filed this week. Jodi Arias doesn't want the new jury to know she had problems with one of her attorneys or former cellmate who claimed Arias told her she wanted to have prosecutor Juan Martinez killed.
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Judge Sherry Stephens denied two motions by Jodi Arias to fire her lead attorney, Kirk Nurmi.
In December the AP Reported, "Over the last several months, she has heard arguments over sequestering the new jury, moving the case out of Phoenix, Arias' desire to fire her lead attorney and allowing live television coverage of the retrial, among other issues."
Jodi Arias delivered a twelve page handwritten letter saying that she no longer trusts her lawyer Kirk Nurmi. Arias says that she hasn't seen the Nurmi since the end of the first phase of the trial on May 23. Jodi Arias' complaint says he "does not listen or respond to my concerns."
In the motion, Jodi Arias wrote "Mr. Nurmi, however, in his utter poverty of people skills, simply said to me with contempt, 'You're not going to get your way just because you throw a tantrum.' Judge, this was no tantrum. Far from it. This was a full-blown emotional meltdown. I wasn't throwing a fit, I was falling apart. Having known me for 3.5 years at that point, Kirk Nurmi should have easily discerned this, but his failure to do so shows he lacks the capacity for empathy and chooses anger over attempting to understand any impairment his client may be experiencing in direct relation to the case and court proceedings."
Cassandra Collins's, Jodi Arias' cellmate claimed that the convicted murderer said she wanted to give the prosecutor a "Mafia Bowtie," slang for cutting his throat. Jodi Arias was convicted of cutting the throat of Travis Alexander. Jodi Arias says her former cellmate's claims are lies.
The Jodi Arias retrial date has been delayed because of a conflicing trial that the prosecutor is taking. The trial is the oldest capital murder case in Maricopa County and may also be a death penalty trial. The second penalty phase in the murder case against Arias has been delayed again. A new date has not been set.
It has been nine months since a jury found Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander and the final phase of the trial has been delayed even further. According to the Arizona Republic the Jodi Arias Juan Martinez is scheduled to begin another potential death penalty trial on May 12.
In a Maricopa County Superior Court hearing, Presiding Criminal Judge Joseph Welty ruled the trial of Bryan Hulsey, a man who was accused of killing a police officer in the Phoenix area in 2007 will go first. The case is the oldest capital murder case in the county awaiting trial. Welty weighed priorities in the two cases.
The Bryan Hulsey trial is scheduled to begin May 12. Bryan Hulsey is charged with the murder of Glendale Police officer Anthony Holly in 2007. Like the Jodi Arias trial, the Hulsey trial has been repeatedly postponed. The case was dropped by a series of defense attorneys and the trial kept getting pushed back. The case will be tried before Judge Joseph Kreamer.
Welty left the rescheduling of Arias' penalty phase retrial to Judge Sherry Stephens, but there is no word so far on when that will happen.
The 33-year-old Arias was convicted last May of killing her boyfriend at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008, but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on her sentence.
Holly was providing backup for another police officer after they made a routine traffic stop of a car on Feb. 19, 2007. Hulsey was a passenger in the car. When police ordered Hulsey to get out of the car, he pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot and killed Officer Holly.
Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder on May 8, 2013 in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander, but the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence the former waitress to death or life in prison.
Alexander was found murdered in the shower of his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. Alexander's throat had been violently slit, he was stabbed 27 times and shot in the head. The Jodi Arias trial hypnotized America as details emerged about the couple's sex life. Jodi Arias took the stand for 18 days to testify that killed Alexander in self-defense. Arias said Travis Alexander was given to fits of terror and that he had an outburst after she dropped a camera while they were shooting a sexy video.
Judge Sherry Stephens has banned live television coverage of the retrial.
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